WASHINGTON -- Ford Motor Co. CEO Bill Ford Tuesday called on the federal government to do more to help the U.S. auto industry shift to advanced vehicles and alternative fuels.
"We can't get there alone," Ford said in a speech to the Business Roundtable, an organization of executives of the country's biggest companies.
Automakers frequently talk about the importance of government policies that consider industry needs. But Ford for the first time outlined a series of specific requests on energy.
He said government should:
Ford also repeated his call for a White House summit on energy issues. He said Tuesday he was going to meet with administration officials to discuss the proposal.
He told Automotive News his meetings would not include President Bush on this trip.
The federal government spends hundreds of millions of dollars each year on research with the industry to develop hydrogen fuel-cell vehicles. Asked whether some of this money should go to more immediate needs, Ford said he does not believe it is an "either-or" proposition, and the country needs to do both.
The broader industry favors increased emphasis on advanced technology but has not had a chance to discuss Ford's specific proposals, said Charles Territo, spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers. The alliance represents the Big 3 and six import-brand automakers.
In his speech, Ford said subsidies from the Japanese government are one reason Japan-based automakers took the lead in hybrid technology.